NSW Premier @BarryOFarrell breaks his spending promises | #NSWpol

Barry O'Farrell

NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell / Pic: Nic Gibson Source: The Daily Telegraph

PREMIER Barry O’Farrell has broken an election promise to cut government spending on travel by 25 per cent, with secret treasury documents showing spending on travel and accommodation for the state’s bureaucrats has actually increased.

The office of the Premier, who pledged at the state election to use videoconferencing and teleconferencing to reduce expenditure by a quarter, referred the issue to the Treasurer’s Office last night but the documents show an overall increase of about $20 million in government travel spending from 2010-11 to 2011-12.

In the biggest spending department, NSW Health, spending on domestic and international travel and accommodation has risen from $49 million in 2010-11 to $67 million in 2011-12.

The Premier told The Daily Telegraph in 2010 of Labor government spending: “It’s unbelievable that at a time when Labor’s failed area health services were unable to pay bills to small business owners that they could find money to allow bureaucrats to fly first class.”

At the election, his policy document pledged savings of $140 million over four years across the board from cutting travel spending.

A NSW Health spokesman said Treasury had changed its calculations on what constituted travel to include motor vehicle costs so that the line item of spending on travel and accommodation had risen from $49 million to $108 million. He conceded only $41 million included motor vehicle costs and there had been no spending decrease.

Other big spending departments included police – $24 million up from $20 million; Education and Communities – $24 million up from $23 million and Department of Trade and Investment – $13.5 million (down from $14.2 million). Department of Premier and Cabinet spent $6.7 million – down from $8.9 million.

Opposition Leader John Robertson said: “Barry O’Farrell promised to slash spending on bureaucrat travel by 25 per cent but instead it’s gone through the roof.

“The people of NSW didn’t vote for the Liberals and Nationals so they’d increase spending on executives.”…

About Darin Sullivan (1980 Articles)
Former President of the Fire Brigade Employees’ Union (2009-2018) and a professional firefighter with more than 30 years experience. I live and work on the NSW South Coast, Australia. I am a strong advocate for firefighters and emergency service workers with an interest in mental health issues and caring for those around me. I am a former Director on the NSW Fire Brigades Death and Disability Super Fund and work with charities including ‘The Movember Foundation’. As a leader and activist I have long been active in the campaign for action on climate change. I am a Station Commander in the fire and rescue service in NSW and have 30 years experience fighting fires, both rural and urban. I am passionate about highlighting the impact climate change is having on fire preparedness and fire behaviour in Australia, and the risks associated with inaction on climate change. I am also a spokesperson for the Australian Climate Media Centre.
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